Be Alert: Custis Trail Improvements Coming Soon

erin potter bikearlington
Erin Potter Tweet Us @BikeArlington@BikeArlington November 27, 2018

Erin Potter is the former Program Manager for BikeArlington.

Facebook Tweet us @BikeArlington

Starting the week of December 10, construction to improve the Custis Trail in Rosslyn will significantly narrow a portion of the popular trail. Trails users should be alert, slow down, and be kind to each other and workers during this phase of construction.

There are excellent changes on the horizon for a portion of the Custis Trail in Rosslyn as part of the Lynn Street Esplanade and Custis Trail Improvements project. While all of the new infrastructure is being built, there will be quite a bit of construction and some of it will impact trail users.

New Construction Will Narrow Trail

Construction starts the week of December 10 and will narrow the width of the trail throughout the second phase of the project. Workers will be transforming one lane of Lee Hwy into additional trail width and buffer space. The good news is that no detours are currently planned for this phase. However, the Custis Trail will be narrowed to 6 feet for the short section between N Fort Myer Dr and Lynn St for nine to 10 months. Construction will take place on the south side of the trail, where the travel lane-to-trail conversion will be starting.

Tips for Navigating a Narrowed Trail

In the block of trail being narrowed, trail users are being asked to be even more mindful of each other than normal.

Slow down

A narrow trail means less room for trail users. If you’re on a bike or running, be prepared to slow down to the speed of someone walking.

Wait to pass

For this block, faster moving trail users are better off waiting until there is more space to pass, especially during times of high use, like rush hour. With no more than three feet available going in each direction on the trail, pretty much any pass will be too close for comfort.

Be alert

This is a highly-used section of trail, and trail users are generally pretty observant. During construction, take extra care in looking for other trail users and use additional caution on major road crossings.

More Information about the Project

A narrowed trail is certainly less than ideal, but we’re excited about the new changes being implemented. Some of the issues we’re cautioning you about, including crossings, are issues being addressed by the construction. In the meantime, remember to slow down, wait to pass, and take extra care as you approach the construction ramps up to the creation of an even better Custis Trail.

More information of the Lynn Street Esplanade and the Custis Trail Improvements can be found on the Arlington County  and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) project pages.

How to Report Issues

If you notice any issues with construction, visibility, or trail safety, please contact VDOT Construction Manager, Thomas Mulachy, at

Editor’s Note: This blog has been edited with new information provided by Suzanne Patel.

Photo Credit:

Sam Kittner/

Comments are closed here.

To prevent spam, comments will be approved before appearing on the post. If you have a comment or question, but do not want it to be published, please email BikeArlington.